GSW optimistic about growth
Gulf Steel Works (GSW), which has supplied to top-level EPC contractors, is working toward gaining approvals for air fin coolers and other process equipment it hopes to produce in its circular facility, a senior official says.
GSW general manager Zafer Jeha said the company aimed to become a reputed manufacturer of process equipment enjoying high demand and high margins in the GCC region.
As well as an area for circular work, GSW has a facility for steel fabrication. Its third line of business is site fabrication.
“Circular work or static equipment is the high-tech end of industry and therefore it has higher returns and margins,” observed Jeha.
The official said the circular facility had been successful in receiving accreditation from recognised international authorities and it initiated improvements, installing important high-capacity equipment and an up-to-date computerised design facility.  
Well-chosen and experienced engineers, technicians and other skilled personnel were deployed to manufacture pressure vessels, heat-exchangers, chemical injection skids, carbon steel and stainless steel storage tanks among other things, he said.
The circular facility has a covered area of 10,000 sq m. Its product range also embraces reaction columns, pipe spools, ducts and stacks. The facility has code approval from ASME for U, PP & R stamped equipment while code approval for U2 stamped equipment is under process.
In addition to air fin coolers, products under development and approval are metering pipe skids and surge relief skids.
Commenting on the growth strategy for structural steel fabrication, Jeha said the company would strive to capture and maintain a major market share for steel structures in Saudi Arabia and other GCC states and to be recognised as a “leading fabricator known for its quality, workmanship and reliability.”
He recalled that the fabrication facility had already obtained approvals from major clients and international EPC contractors. 
The structural steel facility occupies a covered area of 19,400 sq m and has a production capacity of 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes per month. The production range covers pipe racks, equipment structures, derrick (flares) structures, circular and straight platforms and commercial and industrial steel structure buildings.
The structural steel division contributes 80 per cent of GSW’s turnover with the circular and site work divisions making up the remainder.
About GSW’s aspirations for the site fabrication division, Jeha said having gained approvals from Sabic and Aramco it would “spare no time or effort to expand and support it with modern equipment, machinery and the required workforce in order to increase capability and capacity and accomplish expected sales.”
Aramco and Sabic approvals have come for site fabricated storage tanks both in carbon steel and stainless steel, repair and maintenance of heat exchangers and air fin coolers and repairs and modifications to tanks. 
The official said GSW believed local contractors should be awarded contracts for full work on new storage tanks and tank repairs.
With its qualifications, capacity and capabilities, GSW ranked among the leading steel construction facilities in the region, Jeha said.
“We have signed contracts with most EPC contractors of international repute working in Aramco, Sabic (Saudi Kayan) and Marafiq projects and in projects in other GCC countries.”     
Its reputation and its position in the market along with the high demand for steel products made it possible for GSW to take advantage of opportunities and turn them into benefits and advantages.
Jeha noted that while its export market was concentrated in the GCC area, it saw market potential in Europe and the US.
GSW procures from foreign or Saudi stockists its raw material needs for structural steel including standard steel sections and flat products.
Overseas suppliers are Arcelor, Hyundai Steel, Yoosung Corp, Corus Steel, Hanwa Co, Dufferco and Global Metallica Trading.
Local suppliers include Hadeed, United Gulf Steel, Pan Gulf, Attieh Steel, Yousef Al Nafiea and Fozan Steel, among others.
Jeha says he does not see any major threat from the local and regional competition while also noting that the Eastern and Indian markets had cheap skilled labour in abundance.
“However,” he noted, “the local industry enjoys Aramco and Sabic support in the form of encouragement to locally manufactured products even when there was a marginal price increase compared to foreign supplies. Therefore, GSW will be able to capitalise on the advantages and benefits of present market conditions without any major threats of a real competition.” 
 


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